General Information About the District

 
The Amber Creek Metropolitan District (District), a quasi-municipal corporation and political subdivision of the State of Colorado, was organized by order and decree of the District Court for Adams County on November 28, 2005, and is governed pursuant to provisions of the Colorado Special District Act (Title 32, Article 1, Colorado Revised Statutes). The District operates under a service plan approved by the City of Thornton (the City) in August 2005. The District’s service area boundaries solely encompass the Amber Creek subdivision, which is comprised of 333 single family homes, 14.7 acres of undeveloped land zoned for low-density multi-family housing and 18.7 acres of undeveloped land zoned for commercial use.

In 2017, the District issued approximately $20 million in bonds to finance the construction and development of public infrastructure within the Amber Creek subdivision (e.g. streets, curbs, sidewalks, water and electric lines, sewer lines, storm drainage, detention pond, perimeter fencing, park and open space landscaping, etc). With a few exceptions, the completed infrastructure assets were turned over to Thornton (e.g. streets, sidewalks, water lines and park) and the respective utility companies (e.g. street lights and power lines were turned over to United Power, etc). The open spaces, detention ponds and perimeter fencing were turned over to the District to own and maintain.

 

DISTRICT REVENUE SOURCES


In order to fund the repayment of its bond debt and provide neighborhood services to Amber Creek residents, the District generates revenue from the following sources:

Property Taxes: Each year, the District assesses property taxes on the homeowners living within the Amber Creek neighborhood. Property tax assessments is the District's primary source of revenue and currently comprises approximately 60% of the District's total annual revenue. Restrictions exist on how much property tax revenue the District can collect to fund (1) its annual operations and (2) its annual debt service. 
  • Tax Revenue for Operations: In November 2015, the land developer established a $500,000/year maximum limit on property tax revenue that the District can collect from property owners to fund the operations of the District. If the District desires to raise the annual revenue limit, it must first obtain voter approval from the voters within the District.

  • Tax Revenue for Debt Service: For its annual debt service requirements (i.e. the principal and interest payments due on its debt), the District can set a mill levy of up to a maximum of 53.606 mills to generate property tax revenue to fund its debt service.

State Tax Subsidies: Each year, the District receives a "specific ownership tax" subsidy from the State of Colorado. The State funds this subsidy from its collection of annual vehicle registration fee taxes paid by owners of Colorado-registered vehicles. The subsidy is paid out in the form of a matching contribution to the District and is calculated as a percentage of the total property taxes assessed by the District. The State establishes the rate each year for matching contributions. A historic trend of the matching rates set by the State is provided in Exhibit 1.

Neighborhood Service Fees: The District charges a service fee of $55/month on all residential lots to fund the cost of neighborhood services provided by the District. (The builders pay $15/month on each undeveloped lot.) Neighborhood services provided by the District include (1) covenant enforcement / neighborhood inspections, (2) architectural review services, (3) maintenance of the landscaping and snow removal on all open spaces (excluding the City-owned park and trails) and (4) maintenance of the monument signs and perimeter fencing around the neighborhood.

Facility & Admin Fees: The District charges a facility fee on the sale of each new home purchased form the builder. The facility fee is $1,000 on single family homes, $900 on multi-family units and $1.25/square foot for commercially developed space. A $50 admin fee is also charged by the District on all new home sales. The facility and admin fees are not assessed on the sales of homeowner-occupied homes.

Transfer Fees: The District charges a $250 transfer fee at the time of sale of each home located within the District. The purpose of the transfer fee is to cover the time and costs incurred by the District related to setting up a new homeowner information file and account and closing the former owner's files and accounts in accordance with the District's document retention policies

Interest Income: State laws restrict the types of funds in which the District may invest its cash.  For the past several years, the District's investment income has been an insignificant source of revenue to the District due to the low interest rates paid by banks on savings accounts and certain low-risk money market funds.

District Contractors

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Bond Debt

Click here to learn more about the District's bond debt.